David Fleshler reports for the Sun Sentinel – “A proposal for an exploratory oil well in the everglades of western Broward County was rejected again Monday by state regulators, although this is unlikely to be the final act in a Miami family’s persistent attempts to extract oil from its land… In issuing this decision, the [Department of Environmental Protection] rejected the recommendation for approval by a state administrative law judge… At a time when the federal and state governments are spending billions to restore the Everglades, the proposal to drill for oil there – and so close to the west Broward suburbs – generated intense opposition among environmentalists and local officials. Cities opposed it, as did the Broward County Commission… The (Department’s) order noted that the last drilling permit for the Everglades was issued in 1967 – 50 years ago. Given the importance the state places on the South Florida wilderness, as shown by the Legislature in the Everglades Forever Act, the order said ‘the balance tips against issuance of an oil and gas permit to drill an exploratory well in the environmentally sensitive Everglades.’” Read Everglades oil well application rejected
The Ledger Editorial Board writes – “It’s been 50 years since the state of Florida has permitted someone to drill for oil in the parts of the Everglades the state deems most worthy of rehabilitation. Thanks to Noah Valenstein, the wait will continue… [T]he DEP was correct to block this plan… [S]tate and federal governments are well into a decades-long, $16 billion effort to restore the original flow and health of the Everglades. Oil drilling could upset that… [T]he 10 million barrels of crude that potentially could be pumped from the Kanters’ land would be enough to power America for about 12 hours.” Read DEP makes right call on Everglades drilling
Blair Wickstrom writes for the TC Palm – “Are our businesses on the Treasure Coast being represented like they should be?... I don’t think so. Just to be clear, I searched the definition of a chamber of commerce and found, ‘A Chamber of commerce is an organization of businesses seeking to further their collective interests, while advancing their community, region, state or nation…’… ‘Whose collective interests?’ asked Mark Nichols, owner of DOA Lures. ‘The chamber isn’t looking out for my interests.’ I got a similar response from Giles Murphy, owner of Stuart Angler Bait & Tackle… Kevin Lindsey, owner of Lindsey Marine, a boat dealership, recalled the day Joe Catrambone, president and CEO of the Stuart/Martin County Chamber of Commerce, came into his dealership to try and get him to become a chamber member. ‘Why would I do that?’ Lindsey recalled asking. ‘What are you doing to stop these (Lake Okeechobee) discharges? What are you doing to help my business?’ Obviously Catrambone didn’t have the right answers because Lindsey Marine still isn’t a member. Irene Gomes, owner of the Driftwood Resort in Jensen Beach, had a similar issue with Ron Rose, executive director of the Jensen Beach Chamber of Commerce… Maybe there’s an alternative to trying to change the thinking of the seemingly sugar-industry friendly leadership within the chambers of commerce in Martin County. Maybe it’s time for a new river-friendly chamber?... I’d like to hear from you. If it’s time for a new chamber, would you become a charter member? Email me at Blair@Floridasportsman.com” Read Is it time for a new river-friendly chamber of commerce?
Joseph Baucum reports for the Pensacola News Journal – “In the contest of who releases the most toxins into the environment, Escambia County stands alone in Florida with hardly any competitors in sight. Based on a Priceonomics report published this month by Forbes, Escambia County ranked as the heaviest disposer in the state, with about 34 million pounds of toxic materials released in 2016. The study… listed the 50 counties across the United States responsible for discharging the most hazardous chemicals. Escambia County ranked 11th, and even worse for optics, no other county in Florida made the list.” Read Escambia County ranks 11th in list of U.S. counties disposing of most toxins
The Naples Herald reports – “The remains of a 2-year-old Florida panther were found… near Daniels Parkway… This was the second panther found dead due to vehicle collision in the last week, and the fourth of the month of November. This latest death brings the total of panther deaths to 28 so far in 2017. This is only the second to occur in Lee County, the bulk of the remains have been discovered in Collier or Hendry so far this year. Seven new panther litters have been recorded by the FWC in 2017, ranging in size between two and four kittens, for a total of 19 panthers confirmed to have been born this year.” Read Florida Panther killed by car near Daniels Parkway
Carlos Medina reports for the Daily Commercial – “Leslie Campione realizes her fight for a new Wekiva Parkway interchange near Mount Plymouth is a hard sell, so she hedged her bets and put another option on the table. Campione, the Lake County Commission vice chairwoman who represents the area of Mount Plymouth, suggested county road engineers draw up a plan, including roundabouts and other ‘traffic calming’ measures on County Road 435 instead of a new interchange… The plan got support from the rest of the commission and once finished would become part of the county’s priorities for the Florida Legislative session…” Read Campione proposes alternate plan for Wekiva Parkway
Dick Ring writes for the Sun Sentinel – “Since it was signed by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906, the Antiquities Act has been used on a bipartisan basis by 16 presidents (eight Republicans and eight Democrats) to protect America’s most iconic natural, cultural, and historic places including: Dry Tortugas and Biscayne Bay, the Grand Canyon, the Statue of Liberty… The widespread diversity of historic, cultural, and natural treasures that have been protected by the Antiquities Act is the reason why groups representing sportsmen, cultural heritage organizations, evangelicals, conservation, recreation businesses, historic preservation, and many others all oppose efforts to undermine this vital law. National parks are visited by nearly 300 million visitors annually, and show a strong return on federal investment by supporting nearly $27 billion in economic activity and nearly 240,000 jobs each year. Every dollar invested in park operations leverages about $10 for local communities… That’s why I’m disappointed to see members of Congress, led by Utah Rep. Rob Bishop, trying to block new units of the National Park System with HR 3990, a bill that would gut the Antiquities Act… Florida is lucky to have many members of its congressional delegation – like Reps. Carlos Curbelo and Ileans Ros-Lehtinen – who have stood up to extremists like Bishop and voted to protect the Antiquities Act. It shows real leadership to look beyond the partisanship consuming Congress to ensure that future generations can access our great outdoors…. National parks are America’s greatest idea, and belong to all of us, always.” Read Preserve national parks. This land is your land, Florida
Thomas H Kean writes for The New York Times – “Safegaurding our health and our environment has always enjoyed broad support in both political parties and among the American people… The current administrator of the E.P.A., Scott Pruitt, built his political career by attacking clean-air and clean-water rules. Now in charge of the agency, he is tearing down those protections, dismantling the E.P.A., appointing or nominating industry insiders to oversee their former businesses and blocking scientific input… Mr. Pruitt is jeopardizing the health and well-being of Americans, and many suspect he is doing it to feed his own political ambition… His taxpayer-funded weekend trips home to Oklahoma are being examined by the E.P.A.’s inspector general… And to satisfy his penchant for secrecy, he is installing – at a cost of nearly $25,000 to taxpayers – a secure phone book in his Washington office to keep people, including staff members, in the dark… For months, Mr. Pruitt refused to disclose where he was going or to whom he was meeting with. Thanks to the Freedom of Information Act, we now know that he spends his days meeting with executives from companies, many with high-profile matters pending before the agency. He has elevated cronyism to new heights… President Trump should fire Scott Pruitt. Our children and grandchildren deserve better.” Read Trump Should Fire the E.P.A.’s Scott Pruitt
From Our Readers
The information in this section is forwarded to you at the request of some of our readers. Inclusion in this section does not necessarily constitute endorsement by the FCC.
Upcoming Environmental Events
November 29, 9:00 am – Attend the Indian River County Delegation meeting at 1801 27th St in Vero Beach. Tell your Delegation that you want the LARGEST SHARE of Amendment One funds, approximately $300 million this upcoming session, to be dedicated annually to land conservation programs. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
November 29, 9:00 am – Attend the Alachua County Delegation meeting at the Santa Fe College NW Campus Fine Arts Hall (3000 NW 83rd St) in Gainesville. Tell your Delegation that you want the LARGEST SHARE of Amendment One funds, approximately $300 million this upcoming session, to be dedicated annually to land conservation programs. For more information, contact email@example.com.
November 30, 5:30 pm Attend the Bay County Delegation meeting at the Bay County Board of County Commissioners’ Chambers (840 W 11th St.) in Panama City. Tell your Delegation that you want the LARGEST SHARE of Amendment One funds, approximately $300 million this upcoming session, to be dedicated annually to land conservation programs. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
December 1, 8:30 am – Attend the Palm Beach County Delegation meeting at the Dolly Hand Cultural Arts Center of Palm Beach State College (1977 SW College Drive) in Belle Glade. Tell your Delegation that you want the LARGEST SHARE of Amendment One funds, approximately $300 million this upcoming session, to be dedicated annually to land conservation programs. For more information, contact email@example.com.
December 1, 9:30 am – Attend the Sh.O.R.E Symposium (“Sharing Our Research with Everyone”) in New Smyrna Beach. Hear from leading IRL professionals and student researchers. The keynote address will be given by bestselling author and marine biologist, Dr. Wallace J Nichols. For more information and to register, click here.
December 7-8 – Attend the Annual Florida Remediation Conference in Orlando. The Conference includes two days of technical sessions on soil and groundwater cleanup, over 90 exhibitors, and a charity golf event. For more information, click here.
December 11, 5:30 pm – Attend the Escambia County Delegation meeting at the Pensacola State college Jean and Paul Performance Studio (1000 College Boulevard) in Pensacola. Tell your Delegation that you want the LARGEST SHARE of Amendment One funds, approximately $300 million next year, to be dedicated annually to land conservation programs. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
December 13, 12:45 pm – Attend the next Villages Environmental Discussions Group meeting at the Belvedere Library Community Room (325 Belvedere Blvd.) in the Villages. Speakers include Sam Wartinbee who will discuss Villages Water-Related issues and Ranger Craig Littauer who will discuss opportunities at Silver Springs State Park. For more information and to RSVP, email email@example.com.
December 15, 10:00 AM - Attend the Miami-Dade County Delegation meeting at the Stephen P. Clark Government Center, Miami-Dade County Board of County Commission Chambers (111 NW 1st Street, 2nd Floor) in Miami. Tell your Delegation that you want the LARGEST SHARE of Amendment One funds, approximately $300 million next year, to be dedicated annually to land conservation programs. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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We hope you enjoy this service and find it valuable. Our goal is to provide you with the latest and most relevant environmental news for Floridians. Our hope is that you will use this information to more effectively and frequently contact your elected representatives, and add your voice to the growing chorus of Floridians concerned about the condition of our environment and the recent direction of environmental policies.
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About the FCC: The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is composed of over 80 conservation-minded organizations and over two thousand individuals devoted to protecting and conserving Florida’s land, fish and wildlife, and water resources.
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